Cold Day, Spicy Salad, Warm Hearts

Posted on February 25, 2012


Sunny Day in Juneau by Rich (a Juneau Blogger)

It is another clear and cold day in Juneau. The sun is streaming through the windows and it feels wonderful. My daughter and I are going to head up to the mountain as soon as this post goes live. We are expecting company tonight and my husband will be cooking the bulk of the food, but I will be contributing a salad that we tried on our friends a few weeks ago with pleasing results. We found the recipe in the Andalucia episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Escapes.

Jamie Oliver Chorizo Tomato Salad

Chorizo and Tomato Salad is a very satisfying dish that warms with its spices in the winter, but I think would be cooling with its freshness even in the summer. Jamie made it look so easy and indeed, the ease to please factor made it seem that much more worthwhile. Here are the ingredients you will need:

Dry Cured Chorizo-roughly cut into almond sized nuggets

Ripe tomatoes-roughly cut into cherry sized pieces

Shallot-sliced thinly

Salt and pepper to taste-the sausage already provides a lot of seasoning

Olive oil

Sherry vinegar

Fresh Parsley and other fresh herbs if you access to them

Garlic-thinly sliced

Begin by sautéing the chorizo in some olive oil over medium heat. This will take some time as you want to render some of the fat and spices into the oil and crisp the sausage. The oil will turn a fairly vivid orange color from the spices. While the chorizo is going, get your bowl of tomatoes ready by tossing with the shallots, salt and pepper, fresh herbs and a splash of the sherry vinegar. Let stand so that the flavors can begin to work with each other. Throw your sliced garlic into the pan with the chorizo and continue to sauté until the garlic begins to get golden. By now your chorizo should be ready to pull off of the burner. When you do so, pour a bit of the sherry vinegar over the sausage to help stop the cooking process. Tilt your pan and take some spoonfuls of the spiced oil and vinegar from the pan to pour over your tomato salad. Whatever sauce you don’t use on the salad, save in a jar for seasoning other dishes at a later time. Toss the chorizo and garlic into the salad and you are good to go.

The Wines of R. Lopez de Heredia

For wine pairing, I would go with a Rioja by R. Lopez de Heredia wines. I first heard of these wines when I read Alice Feiring’s The Battle for Wine and Love. According to Feiring, Heredia wines are some of the last to be made in the traditional way as many of the winemakers of Rioja are making their wines in modern style because they believe that this is what consumers are demanding of the wine world. Highly oaked, heavily extracted, ripe fruit is what tends to garner higher numbers in our 100-point scale age. Pedro Lopez de Heredia who was succeeded by his daughter, Maria José, was quoted saying, “If we allowed ourselves to be guided by the financial profit that guides many winemakers to use accelerating techniques during the wine making process, our products would lose their personalities.” From what I have experienced of them, these wines definitely have personality. One night my friends and I were able to taste through the white Gravonia,  Tondonia Rosado rosé, and Bosconia Red Reserva. The experience was memorable, to say the least, and it was very interesting to find similar flavors in seemingly vastly different wines. Even between the white and the red. For this salad, I think any one of these wines would work with the freshness of the vegetable matter or the heaviness of the meat. I suppose the season could be a leading factor in the weight of the wine. In any case, I would suggest seeking out and exploring these wines for yourself. I know I would like to have the chance to experience them again if I can figure out how to get them to Alaska.